With fall approaching, many of us will be drinking more red wine more often. After a summer of imbibing mostly well-chilled whites, the ol’ palate is ready for some soul-warming reds — wines that will go with the more hearty fare we’ll be eating.
Which brings up the question: At what temperature should red wine be consumed?
For as long as I can remember, the standard answer has been “room temperature.” Only one problem: When that advice initially was given, the man giving it probably lived in a drafty castle that was not equipped with any type of heating system — other than, perhaps, a fireplace.
In other words, “room temperature” back then was a good deal cooler than “room temperature” today.
Obviously, a more precise answer is needed, and we have one: Red wines should be served at between 58 and 69 degrees.
The recommended temp varies slightly from varietal to varietal, but not enough that it would make a big difference if you were to simply stick within that range.
Since “room temperature” at your home more likely falls within the 70- to 75-degree range, this means you should place a bottle of red wine in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes prior to opening and serving.
If you forget to do that, simply fill a bucket about three-quarters full with ice, add water up to about the same level, and place the bottle in the bucket. It should be at the “right” temperature in about five minutes.